Is the Title of Your Course Killing Your Sales?

You created an awesome course but it’s just not selling. The fix may be easier than you think!

You might think that the title of your course is not a big deal. After all, the title is only a tiny fraction of your course content, right? How much of your success could rest on a title?

You might be surprised.

The title of your course is the only part of it that many customers will ever see. The title is what determines whether potential students decide to click through to your course and learn more about what it has to offer them. Choose a boring title and people will pass over your course in favor of something that sounds more exciting.

What makes a good course title?

A good course title does more than just tell people what your course is about. It explains how the course is relevant to them and how it can solve the problems they are having in their lives.

An example of a poor course title is something like this: “Methods for Making Money Online.” This title tells the reader the general topic of the course, but communicates very little about what they will learn if they sign up for the course. It also gives them no indication of how it will improve their lives.

A good course title looks more like this: “Finally Revealed: How to Start Making Money Online and Quit Your Job in One Month or Less.” This course title excites and inspires readers by letting them know how their lives will change — and how soon the change will happen — if they take your course.

So how do you create a winning course title?

Creating a good course title is both an art and a science. Creativity can help, but there are also tried and tested formulas that you can use to create a good course title.

The good news is that you can use a formula that is proven to work.

Try this formula: “Subject Title or Adjective: How to DO X and GET Y RESULT in Z TIME.”

For example: “Work Smarter, Not Harder: How to Overhaul Your Workflow to Make More Money This Year.”

Another example: “Marketing Secrets Revealed: How to Generate 1,000 Leads in Your First Month.”

The key to a successful title is to make a promise to the person who reads it. If they complete the course and put all their learning into practice, this is the result they can expect.

It is important to keep your promise realistic. It should be possible for your best students to achieve the results you promise. That said, there is no harm in making a course title inspirational.

It is most important that you know your audience.

How can you know what promises to make to potential students to attract them to sign up for your course? How can you know what words will inspire them?

The answer is that you need to know exactly which group of people you are planning to target as students for your course. Are they older people who want to start an online business but don’t know where to start? Or college graduates looking for their first job? Or experienced entrepreneurs who want to try out a new marketing method?

Your target audience determines how you should craft your course title to attract the right students for your course. Before you start brainstorming titles for your course, take the time to think about who your students will be. What are their goals? What is their background? What are their biggest fears? What are the problems they face every day?

Once you answer these questions, you are in a position to craft a title that has a strong emotional pull on the hearts of the people you want to reach.

How will students change?

If you are still stuck on crafting an inspiring and persuasive title for your online course, ask yourself this question: how will your students change as a result of taking your course?

A good strategy is to write a description of your students before they take the course, and then write another description of how they are after taking it. This will help you focus on creating a good title.

For example, your before description of a potential student for your marketing course might look like this: “Someone new to online business. No or very limited knowledge of organic search marketing, paid search marketing, or social media marketing. Worried about spending money on marketing methods that do not produce good results.”

The after description might look like this: “Someone who has started their online business and taken the first steps to making it a success. Knows what they need to do to reach people online and has a budgeted plan for meeting their lead generation target. Feels confident about meeting their sales goals for their first year in business.”

Writing these descriptions should help you get inside the head of the kind of students you want to reach and write a title that reaches out to them.

Use relevant keywords in a concise manner.

You should avoid making course titles that are too vague. As a skilled course creator, you already know that you should keep the scope of each course relatively narrow so you can go deep into a subject without overloading students with too much information. The same is true of course titles. Get to the point and don’t waste time or words beating around the bush.

What search terms do people use when they are searching for courses like yours online?

An easy way to find out is to brainstorm a few ideas and then start typing them into Google. Make a note of the auto-complete suggestions that come up. These provide great insight for what people are actually searching for.

You can also try your keyword ideas in Google Keyword Planner. This will let you know how many people search for each term every month.

Try to include at least one of the most popular search terms in your course title. This strategy will help interested students to find your course through online search.

Last, make sure that you keep your title short and to the point.

Google displays only 50-60 characters in its search results. Make sure the first part of your title clearly communicates what the course is about. You can always add more detail in the course description or in a subtitle. You don’t have to get it all in the title. Keep the title short and snappy.

If sales aren’t up to your expectations, then make changing the course title a priority.

Even if you have an incredibly useful and well-crafted course, a boring title will mean that it gets lost in the shuffle.

Your course title could be killing your sales right now, holding you back from succeeding as an online course creator. If your sales figures are not what you expected them to be, start with your course title. Once that is done, re-assess your sales copy to make sure that it flows nicely with your new title.

Don’t let your course go to waste. Put as much thought into creating your course title as you did into creating content for your course, because it is just as important.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

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